Hamilton: Mercedes must now rise as a team

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Lewis Hamilton has said that Mercedes must put the clash between himself and Nico Rosberg in the past and now focus on rising as a team to secure both F1 titles in 2014.

The British driver slipped to 29 points behind Rosberg in the drivers’ championship following their on-track incident at the Belgian Grand Prix, which saw Rosberg try an overzealous move on the Briton that left him with a puncture.

Many questioned just how the two drivers could reconcile in the wake of this incident, but after talks in England today with Rosberg and the team bosses, Hamilton has urged the team not to dwell on the situation.

“Today we came together as a team and discussed our differences,” a statement from the 2008 world champion read. “Nico and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other.

“What’s important is how we rise as a team from these situations. We win and we lose together and, as a team, we will emerge stronger.

“There is a deep foundation that still exists for me and Nico to work from, in spite of our difficult times and differences.”

Hamilton said that both he and Rosberg must not risk damaging the team effort for their own personal gain.

“We have the greatest team, the strongest group of individuals who have worked their hands to the bone to give us the best car you see us racing today,” he said. “It’s important that we never forget that and give them the results they deserve.

“Today, Toto and Paddy told us clearly how we must race against each other from now on in a fair and respectful manner. The fans want to see a clean fight until the end of the season and that’s what we want to give them.”

When concluding his piece, Hamilton underlined his commitment to fighting for this year’s world title, in spite of the points deficit he faces with seven races remaining.

“It’s going to be a tough road from here but championships have been won from much further back than I am now,” he said. “I promise you that I will be giving everything and more to win this for my team, for my family and for my fans.”

With statements from both drivers and the team now issued, Mercedes will turning its attention to next week’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.